Nathan Ely – Horizon: Beyond the Boundary of Sight

An opening reception with the artist will take place on Friday, April 5 from 6-9pm.

CEPA is pleased to present Horizon: Beyond the Boundary of Sight, a photographic exhibition presenting the 19th century processes of wet plate collodion and cyanotype, using telescopic and microscopic apparati to examine single celled algae by Nathan Ely.

Nathan Ely’s artistic practice intersects scientific and historic photographic image making, focusing on the systems of knowledge that expand our horizons beyond direct human experience. Photography has a unique relation to light, space and time – an “objective intelligence”, a connection to the real in the way that “things in themselves” give their reflected forms to the camera. Born through a marriage of science and art, photography has the ability to turn a momentary flash of reflected light into a fixed object, to channel light and create new perspectives that exist outside of human perception.

In his most recent body of work, Ely explores with interdisciplinary research using an electron microscope as the starting point for the production of carefully made sublime representations of nature. The work is meant to present a philosophical perspective through the scientific apparatus of the microscope, drawing analogies between micro and macro space, and de-centering human perspective in order to change our perceived scale to the natural universe.

“I predominantly use analog photographic processes in the final printing of my work for a variety of reasons. Incorporating handcrafted printing techniques places the images further outside of their ordinary taxonomy as objects of science, emphasizing their aesthetic qualities as well as the physicality of the photographic object. The use of light and water in the creation of each print is a way of incorporating these essential elements of nature back into the process, creating an additional layer of meaning in the materiality of my work. I believe that continuing to use these methods is of the utmost importance in a visual culture that is almost ubiquitously saturated with digital imagery. My goal is not only to reference the history of the medium but to expand the vocabulary of contemporary photographic art beyond a purely digital space.”   – Nathan Ely

Nate Ely is a photographic artist born in Binghamton, NY. He studied film and photography at SUNY Binghamton, graduating with a BA in 2010. He is currently based out of Buffalo, NY where he is a MFA candidate at the University at Buffalo. He comes from a diverse background of analog filmmaking and photography. His practice has recently shifted to a more experimental framework, focusing on various systems of knowledge which expand our horizons beyond human experience. He works at the intersection of scientific and historic/alternative photographic image making. 



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